Twice Upon A Time - SynopsisBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Twice Upon a Time: Mark Gatiss, Peter Capaldi, David Bradley (Credit: BBC)BBC Worldwide has issued the press synopsis for the Doctor Who Christmas Episode Twice Upon A Time.

The episode will be the last story to star Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and will feature David Bradley in the role of the First Doctor.

Pearl Mackie returns as Bill Potts, alongside Lily Travers and Jared Garfield who recreate the first Doctor's companions Polly and Ben. Mark Gatiss also joins the cast as The Captain

Two Doctors stranded in a forbidding snowscape, refusing to face regeneration. And a British army captain seemingly destined to die in the First World War, but taken from the trenches to play his part in the Doctor’s story. This is the magical last chapter in the Twelfth Doctor’s epic adventure. He must face his past to decide his future. And the Doctor will realise the resilience of humanity, discovering hope in his darkest frozen moment. It’s the end of an era. But the Doctor’s journey is only just beginning.
The information was released by the BBC Shop in the United States who have posted details of the DVD release of the story.




Who Talk Release Two New Classic CommentariesBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The Claws of Axos (Credit: Fantom)Adventures in Time (Credit: Fantom)Fantom have released two new commentaries in their Who Talk series, providing new insights into classic episodes of Doctor Who.

The first release is called Adventures in Time, and is a collection of Hartnell themed historical stories including episodes from The Aztecs, The Romans and The Crusade. It features Maureen O'Brien, who played Vicki alongside the First Doctor, who is joined by William Russell, Julian Glover, Petra Markham, George Little, Kay Patrick, Ian Cullen, Clive Doig, Brian Hodgson, all once again under the watchful eye of Toby Hadoke.

The second release is another classic from the Pertwee era, The Claws of Axos. Producer Paul W T Ballard explained why the story was chosen.
The Claws of Axos might not have been the most obvious of choices to go for, but there were quite a few voices missing from the original commentary, recorded over a decade ago!

It was great to get the serial's director Michael Ferguson, script editor Terrance Dicks, co-writer Bob Baker and Axos himself Bernard Holley to commentate on the serial for the first time. We were also thrilled to welcome back Katy Manning and Richard Franklin.
A special edition bundle featuring both The Claws of Axos and Adventures in Time is available. Each set will come with the cover signed by an actor from each release, and Adventures in Time contains a disc featuring exclusive additional commentaries on The Crusade and The Time Meddler.

These CDs are limited and exclusively available via whotalk.co.uk

Both sets are now available, you can purchase them directly from Who Talk at a discounted price of £10.99 each (RRP £12.99) or via download priced £9.99. The special edition bundle will be available exclusively via this website priced £39.99.

Please note: These commentaries contain no BBC copyrighted elements and do not feature any audio from the episodes themselves.




Victor Pemberton 1931-2017Bookmark and Share

Monday, 14 August 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Actor and writer and inventor of the Sonic Screwdriver Victor Pemberton has died at the age of 85

Victor Pemberton was one of a select group of people to have both written for and appeared in Doctor Who.

In 1967, while trying to get writing work, he was earning money playing bit parts including that of a scientist in the Second Doctor story The Moonbase. But his real love was writing and when his friend Peter Bryant took over as the series Story Editor he was brought in as Bryant's assistant. He script-edited The Tomb of the Cybermen for Bryant, writing the poignant scene between the Doctor and Victoria where the Doctor explains how their lives are different.

Pemberton returned to freelance writing to pen Fury from the Deep, which saw the departure of the character Victoria from the series. It also saw the introduction of an iconic object that would forever be associated with the Doctor, The Sonic Screwdriver.

Fury from the Deep was Pemberton's only contribution to the TV series, but one of which he was very proud.
The cost of mounting Fury was astonishing, for budgets for filming in those days was miniscule, and when you think that a helicopter had to be used, and fake foam sprayed onto the sea, no wonder I got a few glares from the production crew! However, the late Hugh David did tell me that the scale of it was a challenge that he greatly enjoyed, and, as far as I’m concerned, he met that challenge superbly. But the great joy of getting Fury onto the screen was working with dear old Pat Troughton, who was already a friend, together with Debbie Watling, who had the best scream in the business, and Fraser Hines, who was the best practical joker!
In 1976 Pemberton wrote the audio adventure Doctor Who and the Pescatons, initially released as an LP and cassette and starring Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen. He wrote the Target novelisations of both Fury from the Deep and The Pescatons.

Victor Pemberton was born in London in 1931. His first job was as a mail delivery boy for a timber magazine in Fleet Street, followed by a short spell in the publicity and printing department of 20th Century Fox. Two years National service in the Royal Air Force followed, where he set up an entertainment system for the troops. His father brought him his first typewriter after he expressed a desire to be a writer.

His first drama scripts were for BBC Radio. In 1961 he wrote The Gold Watch, a play based on the extraordinary circumstances of his father’s retirement. Many other scripts followed, including The Slide, a seven episode science-fiction serial about an earthquake in the south of England, which starred Roger Delgardo and Maurice Denham. TV followed in 1965 with a script for a children's series on ITV called Send Foster. After Doctor Who he contributed to series such as Timeslip, Ace of Wands, The Adventures of Black Beauty and Within These Walls. In 1993 he invented the character of the Lighthouse Keeper for the UP version of the Jim Henson series Fraggle Rock

In 1987 he formed Saffron Productions Ltd making a number of documentary films, including Gwen, A Juliet Remembered and Benny Hill: Clown Imperial for the BBC. In 1990, Headline Book Publications asked him to write a novelisation of his BBC Drama radio series, Our Family. He went onto write fifteen novels.

In 2016 he undertook his Arctic Adventure, traveling alone by car through seven countries of Europe and Scandinavia to reach the Norwegian town of Bodo – in the Arctic Circle, in order to raise money for the charity Help for Heros.

Victor Pemberton's lifetime partner was the actor David Spenser, who died in 2013.

Victor Pemberton Website




Happy Centenary Earl CameronBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 August 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Today marks the 100th Birthday of the actor Earl Cameron

Earl Cameron appeared in the 1966 Doctor Who story The Tenth Planet, playing Glyn Williams one of the two astronauts on the Zeus IV.

He becomes the third actor to have appeared in Doctor Who to reach their 100th Birthday. The others being Zohra Sehgal and Olaf Pooley. He is the oldest surviving actor to have appeared in the series.

Cameron was born in Pembroke, Bermuda. He is believed to be the second black actor to have a speaking role in the series' history, following Elroy Josephs apperance in The Smugglers.

Cameron made his first stage experience in 1942 when he talked his way into a West End production of Chu Chin Chow. He went on to act in a number of plays in London, including The Petrified Forest. He has appeared in the films Pool of London, Simba, The Heart Within, Sapphire in which played Dr Robbins; and The Message, the story of the Prophet Muhammad.

Other film appearances have included: Tarzan the Magnificent (1960), No Kidding (1960); Flame in the Streets (1961), Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963), Guns at Batasi (1964), Battle Beneath the Earth (1967), The Sandwich Man (1966) and the James Bond movie Thunderball (1965), in which he played Bond's Caribbean assistant Pinder Romania.

One of Cameron's earliest TV roles was a starring part in the BBC 1960 TV drama The Dark Man, in which he played a West Indian cab driver in the UK. The show examined the reactions and prejudices he faced in his work. His other television work includes Emergency - Ward 10, The Zoo Gang, Crown Court, Jackanory, Dixon of Dock Green, Neverwhere, Waking the Dead, Kavanagh QC, Babyfather, EastEnders, Dalziel and Pascoe and Lovejoy.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.

Earl Cameron lives with his wife Barbara in Warwickshire.

Guardian Interview




Hywel Bennett 1944-2017Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 3 August 2017 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Hywel Bennett has died at the age of 73.

Hywel Bennett was best known for playing the title role of Shelley in the ITV comedy series broadcast in the late Seventies and early Eighties.

One of his earliest television appearances was as Rynian, the Aridian in The Death of Time, the second episode of the William Hartnell story The Chase.

Bennett was born in Garnant, Carmarthenshire, in 1944, and grew up in London. He trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His first stage appearance was in 1959, playing Ophelia in Hamlet.

In the sixties, he appeared in a number of British films including The Virgin Soldiers based on the novel by Leslie Thomas, The Family Way alongside Hayley Mills and the psychological thriller Twisted Nerve.

In 1979 Bennett won the role he would become famous for, playing James Shelley in the Thames Television sitcom which was watched by up to 18 million viewers. The series ran until 1984. Bennett reprised the character in The Return of Shelley, running for four series from 1988 to 1992.

Other TV roles included parts in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, where he played Ricky Tarr, Boon, Frontiers, Neverwhere, Karaoke, Last of the Summer Wine and the Dennis Potter series Karaoke, Cold Lazarus and Pennies from Heaven. He played Peter Baxter in The Bill for five years and in 2003 he played the gangster Jack Dalton in Eastenders. His last known role was as Reggie Conway in The Last Detective in 2007.

In 2007 he retired from acting due to ill health.

Bennett was married to the former television presenter Cathy McGowan from 1970 to 1988 and to Sandra Layne Fulford from 1998. He is survived by his daughter, Emma.




The Doctor Who Audio AnnualBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor Who Audio Annual (Credit: BBC Worldwide)BBC Worldwide is to release The Doctor Who Audio Annual featuring audio versions of vintage tales first seen in the Doctor Who Annuals published in the 1960s through to the 1980s.

The Annual, out in December, features classic adventures, from the first six incarnations of The Doctor, read by stars of the show: Peter Purves (who played companion Steven), Anneke Wills (Polly), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) and Nicola Bryant (Peri).
For two decades, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, every fan of the Doctor hoped to find The Doctor Who Annual in their Christmas stocking. Larger than life and twice as colourful, the stories within were exuberant — and often charmingly naive — in their take on ‘the children’s own programme which adults adore’.

Stories include
  • The Sons of Grekk, in which the First Doctor is held prisoner in a brutal, otherworldly society. 
  • The King of Golden Death where the Second Doctor, Polly and Ben have materialised inside an Ancient Egyptian pyramid. 
  • Dark Intruders, with The Third Doctor, Jo and the Brigadier confronting a familiar adversary 
  • Conundrum with the Fourth Doctor, Adric and K9 experiencing warped physics in the corridors of the TARDIS. 
  • The Penalty, where a delirious Fifth Doctor finds old friends and adversaries ganging up on him 
  • The Real Hereward, where the Sixth Doctor and Peri plunge into a dangerous period of British history.
Also included are two vintage essays on the character of the Doctor: Who is Doctor Who? from 1966 and The Phoenix in the TARDIS from 1968.

The Annual can be pre-ordered from Amazon




Christmas Details Announced at SDCCBookmark and Share

Sunday, 23 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
This news item contains official information released by the BBC at the Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic Con. some readers may consider the information spoilers.

Twice Upon a Time: Mark Gatiss, Peter Capaldi, David Bradley (Credit: BBC)


The BBC has announced that Peter Capaldi’s final episode of Doctor Who, to be broadcast this Christmas will be called

Twice Upon a Time


Twice Upon a Time: Pearl Mackie (Credit: BBC)The episode will also feature Pearl Mackie returning as Bill Potts. Viewers will have to wait until Christmas to discover exactly how Bill, who will appear throughout the episode, makes her return.

It was also revealed that Mark Gatiss will co-star in the episode in a guest role, playing a World War One soldier - known so far only as ‘The Captain'

As previously revealed in the closing moments of the 2017 series finale, the special will feature Peter Capaldi’s current Doctor team up with the First Doctor, played by David Bradley.





Tributes Paid to Deborah WatlingBookmark and Share

Saturday, 22 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Tributes have been paid to actress Deborah Watling, who died yesterday after a short illness.

Watling played Victoria in the 1960's, alongside Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines, who was one of the first to comment. Deborah Watling (Credit: Big Finish)Watling was an active member of the convention circuit and much loved by many other stars of Doctor Who. Nicola Bryant tweeted "I am so sad to hear of the passing of the lovely Deborah Watling.We had so many laughs & heart to heart", while Katy Manning added "So deeply saddened to hear that the wonderful funny talented #DeborahWatling has gone on her awfully big adventure ,oneofthe absolute best"

Deborah Watling's sister is the actress Dilys Watling and her brother the former actor, and current Member of Parliament for Clacton, Gyles Watling, who told PA
She was bubbly, vivacious, with a great sense of humour. We grew up together – she was ahead of me in the acting game. She had a great career. We toured together all over the country and shared digs – we had a wonderful life. She passed away peacefully.
In recent years Watling had returned to the character of Victoria for Big Finish audio productions. Senior Producer David Richardson said
Victoria was one of the Doctor’s loveliest companions from one of the show’s greatest seasons, and Debbie was always a joy to work with at Big Finish and so committed to the work. The Doctor Who universe has lost another of its shining stars.
Deborah Watling is survived by her husband Steve.




Deborah Watling 1948-2017Bookmark and Share

Friday, 21 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
It is with deep sadness we report the death of Deborah Watling, forever known as the Second Doctor's companion Victoria.

Deborah Watling joined Doctor Who in 1967, just over 50 years ago. She remained with the series for just under a year, playing the Victorian orphan taken into the care of the Doctor.

Alongside Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines, Watling would occupy the Tardis throughout what is now viewed as the classic monster era of the show, featuring Cybermen, Daleks, Ice Warriors and, of course, The Yeti.

Deborah Watling was born on 2nd January 1948. She was born into a theatrical family, her father the actor Jack Watling and her mother the actress Patricia Hicks. It was inevitable that she and her siblings would end up on the stage and by the age of ten, she was appearing in the ITV series The Invisible Man, playing the niece of Peter Brady.

In 1965 she played Alice Liddell in the BBC Wednesday play written by Dennis Potter and based on the life of Lewis Carroll. It was this appearance which led her to be cast as Victoria Waterfield in the final story of Season four, The Evil of the Daleks.

It wasn't initially to be a companion role. The producers were hoping to persuade Pauline Collins, who had appeared in the previous story, to stay on. When Collins declined, the role of ongoing companion was offered to Watling and Victoria joined the TARDIS crew.

It is well known that the team of Troughton, Watling, and Hines got on extremely well with Watling often the butt of the boys jokes. Many of her stories have been wiped since transmission, and the return of two to the archive a few years ago, The Enemy of the World and most of The Web of Fear brought her considerable delight.

She left Doctor Who in April 1968, at the end of Fury from the Deep. Small roles in the films That'll Be the Day and Take Me High followed. On TV she appeared in Rising Damp and The Newcomers and in 1979 she played Norma Baker in the ITV series Danger UXB.

She briefly returned to the character of Victoria in 1993, for the Children In Need skit, Dimensions in Time before recreating Victoria in a number of audio plays for Big Finish.

Deborah Watling was diagnosed with lung cancer six weeks ago and died earlier today.





Thirteenth Doctor announced!Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 16 July 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Introducing Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor (Credit: BBC/Colin Hutton)The BBC have announced the thirteenth official Doctor is to be played by:


Born in 1982, Jodie Auckland Whittaker is an English actress from Yorkshire who has worked in theatre and televison since the mid-2000s. Notable on-screen roles have included Izzy Huett in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Louise Evans in Wired, Peggy Bell in Cranford, Ruth Bowen in Marchlands, Trish Tooley in The Smoke, and Sandy Grimes in The Assets

She is perhaps best known, however, for her portrayal of Beth Latimer alongside former Doctor David Tennant's Alec Hardy in the ITV drama Broadchurch, a series also penned by incoming lead writer and executive producer for Doctor Who, Chris Chibnall.

The actress said:
I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.
Chibnall added:
I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.

Outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi observed:
Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.

Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of BBC Content:
Making history is what Doctor Who is all about and Chris Chibnall’s bold new take on the next Time Lord is exactly that. The nation is going to fall in love with Jodie Whittaker - and have lots of fun too!
Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama, said:
Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, said:
I'm so thrilled that Jodie Whittaker said yes to playing the Doctor. I've been a fan for years and always hoped to work with her. She is an actor of great emotional range and inhabits every role with complete passion and conviction. Just thinking about what she will bring to the Doctor makes me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It's going to be a lot of fun.





Series 10 - Audience ReactionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus


Further details are now available on the Audience reaction to Series 10 of Doctor Who.

Once again there was a marked difference between different age groups in the reaction to each episode, with the 16-34 ages group generally enjoying each episode more than older viewers.

The most marked difference was in the reaction to Episode 11, World Enough and Time, where 16-34 years olds gave it an AI score of 89, those between 35-54 scored 85 while those above 55 scored it as 82.

World Enough and Time was the most popular episode with the 16-34 group, while they enjoyed The Lie Of The Land least giving it a score of 81.

The 35-54 age group had a smaller range in values scoring 85 for their top episodes (Thin Ice, Knock Knock, Oxygen, World Enough And Time) and 82 for their least favourite ones (The Pilot, The Pyramid At The End Of The World, The Eaters Of Light).

Meanwhile among the over 55's the range was even smaller with 6 episodes scoring the top score of 82, 3 scoring 81 and 3 scoring 80.

There was also a difference between the sexes with women generally scoring slightly higher than men. The exception was World Enough And Time which scored 85 amongst men and 84 amongst women. This was the men's favourite episode while women scored it equal to Smile, Thin Ice and The Doctor Falls

The men's least favourite episode was The Eaters Of Light while the women liked least Extremis, The Lie Of The Land and The Eaters Of Light.

Over 50% found the episodes all high quailty, and the programme also scored high as being fresh and new. The rating for It was memorable had a sharp peak for the final two episodes.




Series 10 - Final Ratings InformationBookmark and Share

Monday, 10 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus


Doctor Who - The Doctor Falls had an official rating of 5.295 million viewers.

The episode was the 16th highest rated programme for the week and the 8th on BBC Television.

Doctor Who was the highest rated programme on Saturday, overtaking Casualty which beat it in the initial ratings. Top for the week was Coronation Street with 8.17 million watching.



Full details of series 36/10 are now available.

The highest chart position was for The Pilot which came in at number 10. The lowest chart position was for The Lie Of The Land, which was the 30th most-watched programme of the week, having faced the final of ITV's talent show Britain's Got Talent.

All episodes since the revival of Doctor Who in 2005 have been one of the top 30 programmes of the week. This compares with the classic series where the lowest chart position was 170 for the second episode of the Fourth Doctor story Full Circle.

The Pilot is one of 57 episodes of Doctor Who to make the top 10 out of the 839 which have been broadcast.

The average final rating for this series is 5.45 million viewers, This is down from an average of 6.03 million for the 2015 series. The biggest drop in audience is for those in the 4-15 age group, which now account for around 8% of the total audience, as opposed to 11% in 2015. Since the revival the highest average has been for Series 4 shown in 2008, which had an average of 8.05 million watching.

Full ratings information can be found here




Final Australian ratings for World Enough and TimeBookmark and Share

Monday, 10 July 2017 - Reported by Adam Kirk
Including Australian time-shifted viewers, World Enough and Time averaged 534,000 consolidated viewers in the five major capital cities. With 87,000 extra viewers it was the second highest time-shifted program of the day (the highest time-shifted program had 173,000 extra viewers) and the ninth highest rating program of the day overallThese ratings do not include iview or regional viewers.




World Enough and Time - Official RatingBookmark and Share

Monday, 3 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus


Doctor Who - World Enough and Time had an official rating of 4.995 million viewers.

The episode was the 21st most watched programme of the week, and the 9th highest rated programme on the BBC.

The official rating is a much more accurate value than the initial overnight reported figure. It includes all those who recorded the programme and who watch it within one week.

Doctor Who was the second highest rated programme on Saturday, just behind Casualty which had just 3,000 more viewers.

The soaps took all top 13 places with Wednesday's Coronation Street at the head with 8.09 million watching. The BBC's highest rated programme was EastEnders with 6.12 million viewers. The highest rated non-soap was the BBC's Poldark with 5.93 million viewers.